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A Closer Look At the GC3 and 8D Lithium Battery Formats From Battle Born Batteries

A Closer Look At the GC3 and 8D Lithium Battery Formats From Battle Born Batteries

Battle Born Batteries has released two new battery formats that we are pretty interested in. The 8D and GC3 lithium battery. After first installing Battle Born GC2 batteries in our truck camper we have become fans of these batteries, but do these new formats make sense?

What Are Lithium Batteries?

Lithium batteries are a special new battery technology that has been replacing lead-acid batteries in RV campers, boats, off-grid, and many other applications. They are lighter, more energy dense, faster charging, and safer among many other benefits.

For RVs, lithium batteries have been replacing the camper house batteries that historically powered 12V DC electronics. However, with their increased power capabilities, RVers frequently pair them with an inverter to power 120 AC electronics when connect connected to a power pedestal.

In fact, these batteries are so good for this that off-grid dry camping popularly has skyrocketed. Boondocking off-grid is no longer “roughing it,” as you can easily replicate a plugged-in experience with a generator or RV solar panel system to replenish your batteries.

Who Is Battle Born Batteries?

Battle Born Batteries is a lithium battery company with headquarters in Reno, Nevada. They specialize in lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries as replacements for deep-cycle lead-acid batteries.

The Battle Born 8D Lithium-Ion Battery

The first battery Battle Born is releasing is an 8D form factor. The battery is called the BB8D and weighs 75 pounds. Dimensions are 21.29 inches L x 11.59 inches W x 10.01 inches H. The battery is 12V, 270 Ah, and capable of 300 amps continuous with a 500 amp surge for 30 seconds. 

8d battle born battery in front of montana rv
270 Ah Lithium 8D battery

The 8D battery form factor has long been a standard for larger battery power applications in marine, bus, and RV use. As a drop-in replacement, this battery will provide more capacity in a smaller space than the previous Battle Born models. It will also make installation even easier for large battery banks. 

At this time, a heated model is not available in the 8D lithium battery form factor. I expect this to be added in the future, however.

This battery makes use of the same LiFEP04 chemistry from their previous models but includes a more powerful BMS. Because of this, the battery should be an excellent option for boats and RVs that could best use the form factor.

It does not look like this battery would do well sitting on its side or end, however, as it has a lip all the way around, so sitting upright like a lead-acid is probably how the 8D battery will be installed. 

The Battle Born GC3 Battery

The next battery, Battle Born, released is the BBGC3. This battery is unlike any other battery on the market today in its form factor. This battery looks strange at first, but it is designed to be mounted in any direction or another battery. One of the most significant benefits of lithium-ion batteries for installation is that they can sit in any orientation. This battery takes full advantage of that.

This battery has been on the market for a while but was only available to OEM manufacturers. It has been used in numerous OEM builds, including the Keystone Super Solar Flex.  

Battle Born GC3
The GC3 has been available to OEM manufacturers for a year, but the capacity was 255AH. They have increased the capacity for public release.

Having installed many battery systems, a battery like this would have made many of them much easier. I can see this battery becoming a popular choice for those building an RV or installing batteries in new locations.

The GC3 has the same specs as the 8D at 12V, 270 Ah, with the same 300 amps continuous and 500 amp surge for 30 seconds. Most likely, they are using the same or similar BMS in both batteries. 

Battle Born GC3 270 Ah lithium battery
The GC3 has connection points at each end that allows them to be mounted on 5 of its sides and connect with other batteries.

The battery dimensions are 22.83 inches L x 7.09 inches W x 13.15 inches H and weighs 75 pounds. A heated version of the battery, the GC3H, is also available.

Pro Tip: Having a heated battery helps in cold weather. Find out how lithium batteries perform in cold temperatures.

Another neat feature of the GC3 battery is the terminal connections. They are at either end of the batteries and make setups in parallel or series much easier. The batteries can even be connected via busbars as the terminals line up with each other. 

Gc3 battery mounting kit
A GC3 kit includes plastic feet for the battery to mount on.

Both new batteries are made at their facility in Reno Nevada. 

Do These New Lithium-Ion Batteries Make Sense? 

Solar and off-grid power systems are becoming more and more popular as the technology matures, but many times, it can still take 6-12 100Ah batteries to build some of the larger systems. An 8D lithium Battery or the GC3 can cut the number of batteries by 1/3 or even offer plenty of power with just one battery in smaller installations.

Because these batteries provide 300 amps continuous, they can run a 3000VA inverter where previously three 100Ah batteries would have been required.  

BBGC3 and inverter
One GC3 or 8D Lithium battery can run a 300A 12V Load

The BB8D price is starting at $2,800, and the BBGC3 will start at $2,900. These prices are similar in cost per energy as the smaller 100Ah options but provide higher available currents in a single battery.  They can be purchased directly from Battle Born on their site

One drawback I see to the larger battery form factors is redundancy. If one battery fails in a 3-battery bank, two other batteries will still work. Luckily, Battle Born Batteries has had a great reliability record and backs the batteries with a 10-year warranty.

Overall with fewer batteries, fewer connections, and more mounting options, installations should be much easier. It’s great to see some larger LiFeP04 battery options from Battle Born, and I am excited to see what people do with them.

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Paul

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

If you're building a new system, are you using these batteries? You've stayed in colder weather before, so will you opt for the heated one? I'm in the planning stages of my trailer solar system. I have limited space for batteries so I'm really happy there are options for having just 2 to 3 instead of 5 or 6!

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

We just installed Battle Born's GC3 batteries in our new truck camper. You can read more about the install and our new solar system here: https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/overland-solar-off-grid-power-system/

Walt

Monday 8th of March 2021

These sound like great batteries, but the nice thing about the smaller 100Ah batteries is that I can easily lift them out if need be. At 75 pounds, these would be a bit much for me to handle at my age. Probably great for full-timing, though, which is something I'm not doing as yet.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 8th of March 2021

Great point Walt!

Keith P.

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Tom, great post with relevant info. I can see the fewer connections in building larger battery banks to be very attractive options with the heated option on the GC3 being ideal. I'm Just completing a 600AH installation in a Host Mammoth camper and while the 100AH options probably were better for this install with such tight spaces to work with, I sure would have considered the GC3 if it was released a couple of weeks ago... Thanks again for the great content.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Sounds like a great build! I was thinking the same thing when they came out, how they could have saved me some wiring in our system.

Dave Anderson

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

I am glad to see that BB has finally released their higher capacity battery. I had someone from BB hint about this very thing more than a year ago. Its about time!

Mortons on the Move

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

I completely agree, they have been talking about it for a long time.

Brett H.

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

This was a great post. You gave just enough info without loosing me with tech talk. I agree that these will make their batteries for mobile uses even more popular. Thank you.

Mortons on the Move

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Time will tell but I think they will be popular options. Were looking at our next RV build already and might consider one of these if they make sense.

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